Kay Ivey issues State of Emergency ahead of winter weather

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In anticipation of the severe winter weather the National Weather Service (NWS) has been forecasting, Gov. Kay Ivey has declared a State of Emergency.

NWS has already issued Winter Weather Advisory for a large portion of Alabama in anticipation of snow, sleet and freezing rain in and near the areas under the advisory.

“All Alabamians should take time to be prepared for the potential of winter weather. I have directed essential state agencies to be on the ready should they be needed over the next couple of days,” Ivey said. “As with any severe weather event, being prepared is of utmost importance. Everyone should take the necessary precautions now and stay informed of the latest weather forecasts for their area. This State of Emergency will ensure that all available state resources are ready if and when they are needed.”

In anticipation of the winter weather, Ivey has allocated the following resources to be in place starting at 6:00 a.m. Tuesday morning:

  • Alabama Emergency Management Agency will activate the State Emergency Operations Center in Clanton
  • The Alabama National Guard will activate soldiers to assist with mission support teams and command staff.

“There are enough uncertainties in the forecast right now that the potential exists that this winter storm could be debilitating to the state for a couple of days due to icy conditions,” Ivey added. “We are strongly encouraging people to closely monitor this forecast because each portion of the state will face icy conditions at different times. It also important to factor in your commute time to ensure you are off the roads before the first flakes start falling from the sky. In addition to icy road conditions, another factor the state is dealing with is the massive flu outbreak. Now is a good time for people to plan ahead and remain weather aware.”

By declaring a State of Emergency, Ivey is directing the appropriate state agencies to exercise their statutory authority to assist the communities and entities affected by the winter storm.

Motorists are encouraged to use extreme caution while driving, check road conditions before departing, allow for increased travel times, and adjust arrival and departure times accordingly. Officials also urge motorists to limit travel to emergency situations only during the overnight hours of Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, as that is expected to be an especially cold and therefore dangerous period of time. For real-time road conditions, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) is encouraging people to visit https://algotraffic.com.

The Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) is reminding Alabamians that one of the most important preparedness steps that can taken is to put together an emergency preparedness kit with a three-day supply of food, water and other critical supplies. In addition, putting together a preparedness kit for vehicles that includes a car charger, ice scraper, jumper cables and blankets.

To be prepared for winter weather, the AEMA urges resident to follow the following safety guidelines:

  • Stay indoors during the storm.
  • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule and your route; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  • If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss.

Ivey’s State of Emergency is effective at 6:00 p.m. Monday for all Alabama counties.

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